On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman spoke with National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum member Al Bevilacqua about his latest project, the National Registry for Wrestling.
The veteran coach, educator, and promoter of the sport of wrestling serves as co-chair of this organization, which is seeking to sign up wrestling fans as well as present and former wrestlers of all levels in order to popularize the sport.
We spoke with him by phone Thursday.
Speaking just about the U.S., he said, "There's six to eight million people that are alive today that have wrestling in their backgrounds."
The ambitious goal of the National Registry for Wrestling is to sign up one million people on its free web site.
"If you get a million, you're in the game. You got a shot." he said.
"We have no shot now. We have no power. Numbers gets power," he added. "And that's why we got started."
One of the many features of the National Registry for Wrestling web site is the posting of a list of televised and webcast wrestling meets in the U.S. This is particularly timely, since the college wrestling season is in full swing. This Sunday, February 9, the two top ranked teams, number one Penn State and number two Minnesota, will wrestle each other in a dual meet, which will be televised live on the Big Ten Network starting at 2 PM ET.
Our lengthy discussion included focusing on the need for grassroots efforts such as this Registry to promote wrestling, how the Beat the Streets program has resulted in the growth of high school and middle school wrestling in many U.S. cities, the worldwide power and popularity of wrestling, the need to get good ratings on television and build a fan base, the real main reason why many colleges have dropped wrestling (and it's not Title IX), and much, much more.
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